Home Winemaking – ‘Y’ for Yeast #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to the World of ! I’m having fun alphabetizing the process – you can find the links to the other letters at the end of this post.

Today’s letter is “Y“… we’re going to talk about !

Yeast is the most critical ingredient in the process. When you pick a yeast you are, in effect, choosing the destiny of your . The right yeast or yeasts can transform good grapes into great .

Funny story – the very first batch of wine I ever made, I didn’t know there were specific wine yeasts to choose from, so I used what I had on hand – you know where this is going, don’t you? Yep, I used bread yeast! So through a series of unfortunate events, my first batch of wine turned into pungent wine vinegar – the kind that got dumped down the drain. Undrinkable, unusable.

So say no to this:

And yes to these:

The yeast strain you use will determine the style of wine you create, as well as the characteristics that the wine may take on. To determine the best yeast to be used, you should match the yeast strain with the grape or fruit juice variety, and consider the desired style of wine. Yeast contributes so much to wine aside from just making its production possible.

For most of this world’s past 6,000 years of winemaking history, winemakers didn’t even know what yeast was, let alone understand the different strains and what they can do. Only in recent history have we discovered that different strains will produce different characteristics in wine.

The role of yeast in winemaking is the most important element that distinguishes wine from grape juice. In the absence of oxygen, yeast converts the sugars of wine grapes into alcohol and carbon dioxide through the process of fermentation. The more sugars in the grapes, the higher the potential alcohol level of the wine.

You can stop fermentation early in order to leave some residual sugars and sweetness in the wine such as with dessert . The best way to do that is by dropping fermentation temperatures to the point where the yeast is inactive, or sterile filtering the wine to remove the yeast or fortification with brandy to kill off the yeast cells. 

If fermentation is unintentionally stopped, such as when the yeasts become exhausted of available nutrients, and the wine has not yet reached dryness this is considered a stuck fermentation. It can be restarted with more yeast, however, so all is not lost!

Winemaking is so much fun – at least for me – and am tickled every time I give the wine I make as gifts to friends and family who love drinking it as much as I love making it. While we go through this alphabetical series on winemaking, if you have any burning questions, be sure to ask them in the comments below, and I’ll reply there – and maybe even highlight your specific question(s) in a future post!

Thanks for joining me in this fun adventure!

Here are the links going backwards for your convenience, in case you missed any:

A for Aromas, Acidity and Appearance
B for Barrels, Bottles and Blackberry Wine
C for Color, Clarity, Carboys and Cherry Wine
D for Decanting and Decanters
E for Equipment
F for Fermentation
G for Glass and Grape
H for Harvest
I for Infusion
J
for Jeroboam and Jug
K for Kabinett
L for Leaf, Label and Lees
M for Merlot, Muscat and Must
N – the Nose has it!
O for Oak and Oxidation
P for Palate and Press
Q for Quality
R for Racking and Riddling
S for Sweet and Sanitary
T for Taste and Tasting
U for Ullage
V for Verjus
W
 for Wine, Water, Wood and more!
X
for X Marks the Spot?

This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge, Wine, Wine Making, Winemaking and tagged , , , , , , by StacyUncorked. Bookmark the permalink.

About StacyUncorked

After 20+ years in the Corporate World and years of infertility, Stacy was surprised when Princess Nagger made her miraculous appearance - deciding to forgo the career and stay home was a no-brainer. As if her hands weren't full enough, 8 years later she and her husband added Little Dude through adoption, adding a whole new dimension (of crazy) to their family and even more sleepless nights. When she’s not refereeing kids, dogs and cats, she loves to write, hence the reason she decided to start her little blog, and because she never got a baby book to mark milestones, this was the next best thing. She also enjoys doing reviews and giveaways for products she or her family would willingly use and can stand behind. She loves to cook and try new techniques to turn ordinary into extraordinary. Crafty by nature, she takes on a lot of unique projects and enjoy seeing the end result. Her favorite, of course, is making her award winning wine out of fruits and grapes. Experiments with water currently underway.
Recent Related Posts

3 thoughts on “Home Winemaking – ‘Y’ for Yeast #AtoZChallenge

  1. Yes, i can only imagine all the wasted work using bread yeast for making wine. The right tool (or ingredient) is needed for the right job, that’s true in so many areas of life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *